Go Motorsport’s display stand at this week’s Autosport International Show (12-15 January) will be promoting all forms of grass roots motor sport as organised by hundreds of car clubs throughout the UK.
Proving that motor sport is both more affordable and more accessible than many believe, the ‘Join Your Local Motor Club’ showcase at the National Exhibition Centre will not only feature an array of inexpensive competition vehicles but also be manned by members of car clubs from the region around Birmingham’s NEC complex.
Cars on show will include those regularly used for a wide range of disciplines including asphalt rallying, sporting trials, autotests, sprints and road rallies. Indeed many are unmodified road cars providing potential participants with one of the most cost-effective ways of enjoying the thrills of competitive motor sport without the need to invest in specialist machinery. Several of the vehicles also feature special controls permitting those with disabilities to compete alongside their normally-abled opponents.
In recent months the huge amount of competitive fun offered by the thousands of events organised every year by Motor Sports Association registered local motor clubs has been highlighted on several major television programmes. Former F1 driver David Coulthard experienced the delights of autotests, hillclimbs and sporting trials for a feature aired on the BBC’s award-winning Formula One programme. Then last month, Vicki Butler-Henderson teamed up with Skoda UK’s reigning Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion Andreas Mikkelsen to contest a 12-car navigational rally for Channel Five’s popular motoring show Fifth Gear.
“It was all about showing just how easy it can be for all-comers to have some really great fun,” reported Coulthard. “As I found out, all these disciplines create very accessible and affordable opportunities for people to get into motor sport and, as there are classes for everyday road cars in hill climbs, autotests and trials, there really is something out there for everyone.”
“I had a real giggle,” agreed Butler-Henderson. “I’m passionate about grass roots motor sport and, in particular, things that are cheap to enter. Navigational rallies certainly tick that box as you don’t even need a special licence. You participate in a great sport with some healthy competition in your everyday road car for an entry fee of just £15. You can’t have more fun for your bucks than that.”
It is now hoped that many show goers at Autosport International will be inspired by those two high profile programmes and thus be encouraged to experience similar thrills by joining their local motor club at the NEC.
“The Go Motorsport initiative is all about dispelling many of the myths regarding the perceived costs of getting involved in motor sport,” confirmed Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA. “As both David and Vicki found out for themselves, you can have an enormous amount of enjoyment for very little financial outlay.
This is an important message and one that is often overshadowed by the huge budgets found at the top level of our sport. Anyone wanting further proof of the fun to be had at grass roots level should visit the ‘Join Your Local Motor Club’ display at this week’s Autosport International.”
Those MSA registered car clubs participating on the Go Motorsport stand at Autosport International are: Herefordshire Motor Club; Loughborough Car Club; the Mercia Motor Sports group; North Humberside Motor Club; Owen Motoring Club; Oxford Motor Club; Peterborough Car Club; Quinton Motor Club; Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Car Club and the British Motorsport Marshals Club.